The word pride evokes so many emotions. It can be a noun, an adjective and also a verb. Pride is a must for any and all oppressed peoples for no other purpose than a rebuttal to the edict of self hate that oppression produces. Pride has also been castigated in some instances as something that one needs to be mindful of, as something to not have too much of. For me, the notion of Pride is greater than Rainbow wristbands and packed venues in June where Rainbow people come together in this great contingent to stick it to the mainstream. Except ,I guess that notion is dated since nowadays in June and even before everyone is Rainbow , flags are flying, merchandise is found everywhere and everything and everywhere is seemingly a Rainbow inclusive utopia. My pride is a call for action, it’s a reminder of my greatness, it’s the inspiration I need to persist in this parasitic climate as a Big Black transwoman. It’s knowing that I’m always the unicorn in the room and my struggle and my identity are intertwined yet also often at odds as I reckon with mainstream Black and Trans identities and how I have come to see myself as an individual irrespective of demographic. To be a Black transwoman, I feel like I’m robbed of being able to be human in the world . There is a sensationalistic ,caricature, taboo ridden dogma that follows our lives. In our neighborhoods and the world at large ,we are thought of as men, as threatening, as insulting established social norms. I feel like we’re expected to live up to the caricatures in certain ways and then made to feel this need to disappear in other parts of our lives as well.

I think of our physical transitions and how much of it is reduced to a means to an end. The classic trans narrative in general is boy is uncomfortable being so, boy finds themself seeing themself as girl, boy gets surgeries and voila she becomes this beautiful girl. I am being facetious of course but it’s how I have always kinda gleaned the very rare glimpses of transwomen in media especially say pre 2015 ish. What isn’t spoken about or even I think admitted to ourselves as transwomen is this idea that we must become as mainstream cis beautiful as possible and if that means 25 surgeries and every correction available then so be it. I know how real the struggle is so I won’t knock the steps we take to live our best life. But know this, transwoman wherever you’re at in this struggle and especially Black transwomen because the added dose of Blackness always makes that self actualization not only more harder but also critical, you are enough as you are. Snatched waists and cute faces does not make love of one’s self persist past the vapidness of superficiality.

I will speak often of Pride and I don’t necessarily believe it can be a thing as too much pride. I think by and large there’s a deficit of Pride in this country. The necessity to function in a hyper politically correct white supremacist entrenched society ensures vast levels of conformity and self hate amongst everyone. Pride in one’s self if owned by the majority who would claim it so, would not be the reason the plastic surgery industry is a multibillion dollar force in this country. Pride is a reminder for one to be purposeful about existing and knowing that existence is valid period.

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